Logistics News

NSW to repair Blue Mountains freight corridor

The government says freight lines will open on Saturday March 26

The New South Wales government is working to repair and reopen the Blue Mountains rail line, which is a critical freight corridor linking the state’s east and west.

Works including filling in a 16-metre-deep sink hole, as the government’s works are designed to reopen the critical western rail freight line to repair the state’s supply chain.

Work has been done to fix freight lines through NSW’s Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains line is currently closed between Emu Plains and Lithgow, but the line is expected to be open for freight this weekend.

Minister for regional transport and roads Sam Farraway visited Leura to receive an update from Transport for NSW (TfNSW) on repair works.

“The Blue Mountains rail line is a critical freight corridor linking east with west, so the TfNSW team has been working 24/7 to get the line reopened,” he says.

“The extent of weather damage across hundreds of metres of track, culminating in the sink hole, is staggering – ballast and the track base underneath was washed away and a culvert was damaged close to the Great Western Highway.”

According to Farraway, TfNSW and Sydney Trains have had to “effectively rebuild the entire section track” while also filling in the sink hole and ensuring the area is stable for trains to begin running once again.

The damaged line is expected to be opened to freight from Saturday March 26 onwards, then it will open to limited diesel-powered regional passenger trains such as XPT, Bathurst Bullet, Dubbo and Broken Hill services on Monday March 28.

The intercity fleet is expected to be back online on Friday April 8 as electricity services in the region are still down.

RELATED ARTICLE: NSW launches new freight transport advisory council

Transport for NSW is working on a staged approach to reopening the track to allow limited intercity passage shuttle services between Penrith and Springwood this week, with buses continuing to replace trains between Springwood and Lithgow.

So far, TfNSW has removed more than 500 tonnes of debris to allow for the opening of the freight tracks.

“Almost 200 staff are working to restore the line using 53 items of heavy machinery, including cranes, concrete pumps, tip trucks, vacuum trucks and excavators,” Farraway says.

“I have been meeting frequently with the freight industry and know how critical this route is as part of their supply chains to deliver the primary products like food, minerals and coal to the industries that rely on them.”

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